Verizon has closed a wholesale deal with DSL Extreme to resell FiOS internet (not TV or voice), which will be marketed as Fiber Extreme. Fiber Extreme will undercut Verizon's price points. The 50/20 Mb/s service will be sold for 100 $/mo, whereas at Verizon it costs 150 $/mo (or 140 if bundled with voice). It is available in 17 states.
- This is a WBA (wholesale broadband access) deal, not unbundling (ODF access, which is not really an option on PON networks anyway), which was killed years ago. Perhaps the new FCC could reverse that. Obviously, Verizon is trying to stop it, as is described here (free registration). Are they making nice with the FCC by doing this deal?
- A wholesale deal makes Fiber Extreme not just subject to any pricing squeeze from Verizon, it makes the company much more dependent on Verizon for provisioning and innovation. Or so goes conventional wisdom. It is remarkable to see here that the deal comes without portal, email, content and security. Fiber Extreme will be bringing its own value-added services, including Google Apps Premier. And so goes unconventional wisdom: innovation is not only created at the active layer, it can be done at the services layer as well. In fact, new services, that fiber is so desperately in search of, are here today; they are called Web 2.0.
- Will Verizon learn that wholesaling (and unbundling) will actually help it fight off cable?